Google made an exciting announcement in recent days that should have a significant positive impact on students and staff here at ADM. The free Google Drive for Education service – which ADM began using as Google Apps in 2011 – has been dramatically expanded, and now offers:
- free, unlimited storage for all student and staff accounts
- individual file uploads up to 5 terabytes
- Google’s Vault archiving service – which archives emails and chats per open records law requirements – at no cost
- more advanced auditing and security tools
The ability to store unlimited amounts of data will be a welcome change for students and teachers. While Google’s previous 30GB allotment was sufficient for most users, a number of ADM’s users had bumped against that limit, due to the large data storage demands of students enrolled in our advanced video editing course, for instance, or for teachers who archive screencasts of their lessons for later use by students. Further, this provides the storage necessary for teachers to explore practices such as flipped classrooms more deeply, without concern that file storage will become a limiting factor.
Google Vault – an archiving service that archives email messages and Google Chat sessions – is a service that the district had previously been paying for, as open records and similar regulations require the district to maintain archived copies of this type of data. Google’s switch to offering this to schools as a free service will save the district about $1,400 per year, and opportunities to save money are always welcome.